PuNDarIka sacrifice

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 2 12:08:16 UTC 2012

Dear François,
It must be the same as pauNDarIka: e.g. .Sa.dvB 4.3.4, K;S 23.5.37;
Hillebrandt does not refer to it particularly but generically under ahIna.
Modern performance: the Pravargya I filmed in Delhi in 1996 (
http://www.jyotistoma.nl/EN/pravargya/Pravargya100Introduction.asx) was
part of a pauNDarIka (11 pressing day) Soma yAga.

On 2 April 2012 12:09, Francois Voegeli <francois.voegeli at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Members of the Indology List,
> I recently stumbled on a sacrifice called "puNDarIka-" in a Gupta
> inscription edited by Fleet (Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum vol. III, No.
> 59, pp. 252–254, "Bijayagadh Stone Pillar Inscription of Vishnuvardhana").
> In this inscription it is said that having performed the "puNDarIka", king
> ViSNuvardhana erected a yUpa: "kRtau puNDarIke yUpo yam pratiSThApitas
> [...] zrI ViSNuvarddhanena" (Fleet op. cit. p. 253, l. 3). This post seems
> to be the stone pillar where this inscription is found and which is shaped
> like a vedic yUpa, set up on a platform near the south wall of a fort now
> located at Bayana in the Bharatpur District of Rajasthan.
> I cannot see exactly what kind of sacrifice this "puNDarIka" is. It is
> nowhere to be found in the lexicons devoted to Vedic ritual (Renou 1954,
> Sen 1978, Mylius 1995), or in fundamental textbooks on ritual like that of
> Hillebrandt (1897, repr. 1981), or in the section of Kane's Hist. of Dh.
> devoted to sacrifices and rituals (Vol. II pp. 976–1255).
> The dictionaries (MW, PW) give, among the possible meanings of puNDarIka,
> "a kind of sacrifice/ein best. Opfer" with references to the MahAbhArata,
> among which the most significant I could find seems to be:
> MBh 3.13.16 azvamedho rAjasUyaH puNDarIko 'tha gosavaH / etair api
> mahAyajJair iSTaM te bhUridakSiNaiH.
> There it is said to be a "great sacrifice". In this context this
> qualification seems to imply that it is a zrauta ritual, as it is mentioned
> together with other well known zrauta sacrifices described by the
> ZrautasUtras, most of them regalians, but the ZrautasUtras do not, to my
> knowledge, describe any kind of puNDarIka rite.
> A puNDarIka sacrifice is otherwise mentioned a number of times as bringing
> some unspecified but usually great reward in the "tIrtha" section of the
> MBh (3.81–82; e.g. ), where we also learn that there was a "puNDarIka"
> place of pilgrimage, and that going there rewards the pilgrim with the
> fruits of a... puNDarIka sacrice (MBh 3.18.69 zuklapakSe dazamyAM tu
> puNDarIkaM samAvizet, tatra snAtvA naro rAjan puNDarIkaphalaM labhet).
> In this section of the MBh the puNDarIka sacrifice sometimes appears close
> to, or is contrasted with, the azvamedha, e.g. in MBh 3.82.24ff., or the
> vAjapeya in a surprising passage where a yUpa appears, but we do not know
> if it was erected for/as a result of a sacrifice and which kind it could
> have been:
> MBh 3.82.74–75 tato brahmasaro gacched dharmAraNyopazobhitam / pauNDarIkam
> avApnoti prabhAtAm eva zarvarIm [74] tasmin sarasi rAjendra brahmaNo yUpa
> ucchritaH / yUpaM pradakSiNaṃM kRtvA vAjapeyaphalaM labhet
> Another passage of the MBh where puNDarIka and vAjapeya appear side by
> side is 2.5.89 kratUn ekacitto vAjapeyAMz ca sarvazaH / puNDarIkAMz ca
> kArtsnyena yatase kartum AtmavAn.
> Both MBh 2.5.89 and 3.28.74–75 seem to rule out the possibility that
> "puNDarIka" may sometimes have been a synonym of "vAjapeya" in the MBh, as
> I first thought could have been the case.
> The data I have collected so far nevertheless suggest that this
> "puNDarIka" sacrifce was a zrauta ceremony of some kind, that involved the
> erection of a yUpa, and thus an animal sacrifice following the Vedic norms.
> Could anyone on the list tell me more about this sacrifice? All help would
> be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance,
> Dr François Voegeli
> Senior FNS Researcher
> Institut d'Archéologie et des Sciences de l'Antiquité
> Anthropole, bureau 4018
> Faculté des Lettres
> Université de Lausanne
> CH-1015 Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Jan E.M. Houben,
Directeur d Etudes « Sources et Histoire de la Tradition Sanskrite »
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, SHP,
A la Sorbonne,45-47, rue des Ecoles,
75005 Paris -- France.
JEMHouben at gmail.com

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